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Nigeria To Conduct Census In 2022 As NPC Await President Approval

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In the just concluded week, the Federal Commissioner and Chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the National Population Commission (NPC), Mr. Abdulmalik Durunguwa, reportedly said that the Commission awaits President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to conduct an accurate and reliable national census by the first quarter of 2022.

He said NPC was strategising and working hard to ensure that the mistakes of the past were corrected by conducting an accurate and reliable census.

He stated that Buhari recently approved N10 billion intervention fund to enable the commission to carry out the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) of the country.

According to him, the demarcation, a prelude to the conduct of the national census, is gaining momentum nationwide.

He said the commission was targeting to complete the enumeration by July, 2021.

Durunguwa added that with the approval of the intervention fund, NPC has demarcated 629 local government areas.

“So far by God’s grace, with the programme of the commission, we hope to ensure that before the end of July, that we are able to demarcate the entire country and to conveniently conduct the national census.

“We are hoping that by the time we finish the demarcation, which is the foundation of the census, we will be able to say yes, we are good to go and by the first quarter of 2022, honestly speaking, the NPC based on preparations on the ground, can be able to conveniently conduct a census in this country provided that Mr. President has given us the approval through a proclamation that the census should commence.

“We are pleading with all Nigerians to give us the support so that we can see if we can conduct this census by 2022; that is the first quarter. That is our target.

“We hope the government and Mr. President will give us the go-ahead so that we can carry out this exercise,” he said.

Durungowa explained that the enumeration of the local government areas would help the commission to have a proper picture of how many census enumerators would be deployed in the coming national census.

He said what was preoccupying the minds of the current leadership and personnel of the NPC was to deliver to Nigerians a population figure that would not only be accurate and believable but also one that would be devoid of ethnic, religious and other mundane sentiments.

He said the NPC had introduced some innovations in its activities, adding that it is also undertaking the computerisation of the enumeration.

He said the NPC had developed customised software to help in fast-tracking the demarcation, adding that it is kick-starting phase 14 of the household enumeration on April 25 with the target of reaching 34 local government areas.

“We are adopting computerised processes, using hand-held devices, PDX and high imagery resolution satellite technology, to improve the work of the commission,” he said.

On how the population commission intended to avoid the anomalies of the past census, Durunguwa said the technological innovations being introduced would go a long way to resolve issues that created doubts and lack of trust in the final outcome of the census.

“The latest technology we are using is a technology that is giving us no much question to be asked because it is already tried, tested by this our enumeration of area demarcation.

“I wish we’ll have time where we’ll display it to Nigerians to see what we are doing and it will go a long way in convincing people that the population commission is ready by what we have to be able to conduct a census that cannot be disputed.

“This world is going technologically and we can’t be left behind in this country; we also have to key in; so, that is why we are deploying the latest technology in trying to make sure that the exercise we are doing right now is well taken care of so that when Mr. President gives us the go-ahead to conduct the census, we can say it’s good to go.

“The government cannot plan without having the actual figure you are working with and that is why it is very important with the kind of president we have on the ground to be able to have this go-ahead to conduct this census,” he stated.

According to him, the NPC’s website is being repositioned to enable it to provide information to the public.

He regretted the challenges the country has to face over inaccurate and doubtful census figures, adding that it is high time that Nigerians began to thing positive about issues affecting the survival of the country.

When asked about the position of NPC on population control, Durunguwa said there was no doubt that the rate of growth of Nigeria’s population was alarming.

He identified some factors such as religion and culture as affecting efforts at implementing policies on population control in the past.

He said: “We are working tirelessly and we have sent a reviewed national policy on population control to Mr. President and any moment from now, the federal government is going to look at critically and approve a population policy for the country.”

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NLC Alleged That El-Rufai Reverted Minimum Wage to N18,000 

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El-Rufai

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday alleged that the Kaduna State government plans to infiltrate its protest with thugs.

It said it was misled in praising the Nasir El-Rufai administration for being the first to pay the new N30,000 minimum wage.

NLC, in a statement by its Kaduna State Council Chairman, Ayuba Suleiman, said the state had since reverted to the old wage of N18, 000 for council workers. It said 20,000 civil servants have been receiving half salary of less than N18, 000.

The workers union said the state owed its members several allowances. It condemned threats to arrest NLC President Ayuba Wabba.

“We are calling the attention of the general public to the planned mobilisation of thugs by the state government to discredit our peaceful protest. We urge the people of Kaduna State to be vigilant and stand against this plan.

“We implore the general public to remain calm and peaceful throughout the five-day warning strike.

“We are assuring the Kaduna State workers and the general public of our commitment to maintaining peaceful strike action in their interest,” Suleiman said.

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FACAN Seeks Partnership With Lagos on Ranching

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Ranching - Investorsking

The Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) is seeking partnership with the Lagos State government on the operation of ranches as part of a road map with investment plans that seek to improve animal productivity and production, as well as increase the value addition of key livestock value chains.

Its President, Dr Victor Iyama told the media that the association is examining various aspects of agricultural development such as investment, demand, consumption, gender and social inclusion and is ready to partner with Lagos in driving out livestock-sector investment interventions, to help the state meet its targets by improving productivity and total production in the key livestock value chains of sheep and cow

According to him, the absence of a roadmap to develop the livestock sector had hindered the successful implementation of previous investment plans for the sector.

He said the creation of the master plan would guide livestock-sector investment interventions in improving feed and water resources, health services, industry and factory and promote private sector investment and business environment.

Urging the Lagos government to pursue the establishment of ranches for hire, Iyama reiterated that investors were convinced the efforts would foster public-private partnerships for livestock development.

According to him, private operators will be ready to rent ranches for meat cattle, indicating that the state remains one of the safest places for increasing industries for meat production and milk processing.

Recently, the Lagos State Butchers Association has requested the provision of about 50 hectares of land from the Lagos State Government for ranching and rearing herds of cattle in the state.

Meantime, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Absiola Olusanya, said well over 1.8 million herds of cattle and over 1.4 million herds of sheep and goats, were being consumed in Lagos yearly.

Olusanya called on the private sector to partner with it to establish feedlots in the state for cattle rearing and fattening in furtherance of its reforms and sanitization of the red meat value chain, stressing that partnership becomes necessary as it would ensure better production and supply of cattle for consumption in the state.

According to her, the feedlots when operational would help revive and resuscitate cows that might have travelled from far cities such as Sokoto, Jalingo, Bauchi and Jigawa among others where they may have come to Lagos before slaughtering them.

Olusanya added that the feedlot system would also help in fattening the cows before taking them to the slaughter slabs which would improve the quality of beef as well as help butchers and meat sellers to make more profit. “We have been having discussions around the transformation agenda centred on abattoirs, transportation and markets but there is a revised plan to have a more holistic approach to the red meat value chain.

“We are not just focusing on abattoirs alone which are a processing angle, we are starting right from the animal identification and traceability systems, meaning right from the source or point of origination of the cattle.

“That is why we want to establish feedlots in the state so that we can have cattle fattening centres. Having feedlot centres means that the cattle can rest, they can be fattening.”

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INEC Official Prepares Ahead of Continuous Voter Registration

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INEC-PVC

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it’s working within its timelines for the nationwide resumption of continuous voter registration (CVR) on June 28.

Mr. Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, stated this in an interview with the Newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.

Okoye said that the commission was on course, especially with the development of an online portal to be deployed for the exercise.

“The online registration portal is almost ready and will be rolled out for the continuous voter registration slated to commence on June 28.

“The online portal has been demonstrated and adjustments made. It will have an online locator of registration areas and polling units. The commission is progressing and working within the framework of its timelines,” Okoye said.

Reports state that INEC had fixed June 28 for the resumption of its suspended CVR, with new technology. The commissioner also outlined some critical activities within the timelines, leading to the restarting of the exercise.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had earlier announced that the exercise would continue until the third quarter of 2022.

Yakubu also announced that the commission would replace its Direct Data Capture (DDC) machine, introduced in 2011, for voter registration, with a new technology called INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED).

These, according to him, include expansion of voter access to polling units by May 11, building and testing the online registration portal by May 15 and arrival of the new IVED by May 31.

He listed other activities like recruitment and training of voter enrolment staff, June 14, and restart of CVR, June 28.

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